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Somali gov’t deploys forces in Beledweyne amidst post election tension

BELEDWEYNE (SD) – Somali government has deployed Turkish-trained Haram’ad police unit in Beledweyne town amid an ongoing tension in Hiiraan region.

Recent weeks, hundreds of residents had held demonstrations against newly formed Hirshabeelle administration.

Reliable sources in the town confirmed that hundreds of federal soldiers arrived on Saturday in the town. The motive for the deployment of the troops is yet unknown though the government critics say the forces are meant to ‘silence’ the region.

The development comes a day after the leader of Hirshabelle state, Ali Guudlaawe landed in Mogadishu. The leader reportedly held talks with president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo but government did not comment on what was talked in the meeting.

There had been tensions in region since last November when a group calling itself Hiiraan Rescue Council headed by General Abukar Hud Warsame emerged, protesting the election of Ali Guudlaawe as president of HirShabelle State.

According to the group, the presidency, based on previous clan agreements was to come from Hiiraan region but that pact was violated when Guudlaawe who allegedly backed by the federal government was elected to the post.

There had been reports claiming that the Federal Government issued an arrest warrant against a faction leader Warsame.

Similar federal troop deployment was made last year when the federal government rejected elections held in Kismayo by Jubbland state leader, Ahmed Mohamed Madobe in which Madobe declared himself as the winner.

The government deployed Haram’ad soldiers in Beled-Hawa town, a move that culminated in heavy fighting the federal forces and soldiers loyal to Jubbaland state.

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